Familiar faces back on council
Voters in the Manurewa-Papakura ward have stuck with the tried and true and re-elected Sir John Walker and Calum Penrose to the Auckland Council.
The pair defeated closest rival Colleen Brown who didn't contest a place on the Manurewa Local Board to focus on winning one of the ward's two council seats.
Mr Penrose, who campaigned with Sir John, says the victory was a team effort.
"We worked as a collective."
He says they will focus on several issues this term after helping bed down the super city structure over the past three years.
"Now we're moving forward in the next five years."
Getting the southern motorway's Takanini interchange revamped is critical, Mr Penrose says.
"It will take the traffic away from Hill Rd, Claude Rd and Mill Rd."
He's also keen to get Mill Rd linked up with East Tamaki, north of Clevedon Rd.
Developing more jobs in the south is another priority.
Mr Penrose says the Puhinui Gateway development near Auckland Airport is one project that needs to get started.
That's despite submissions about whether it should go ahead being divided.
"If people are employed, social problems diminish and you get the region growing as a whole."
Big issues for Sir John include illicit drugs, gambling, alcohol and poverty.
Sir John says he's pleased mayor Len Brown was re-elected.
"I think he's done a very good job. I wouldn't want to see anyone else in the role at the moment. It's easy to knock his vision but you have to come up with an alternative."
But Sir John acknowledges it will be more difficult for the mayor to get votes on key issues, with two of his key supporters in the Maungakiekie and North Shore wards losing their seats.
Mr Penrose says the mayor has "grown into the role" and done a good job of bringing the super city together.
Meanwhile in the Manukau Ward, Labour councillor Alf Filipaina romped home in first place with 17,284 votes while independent Arthur Anae picked up the second council seat.
He finished about 1000 votes ahead of Labour's Ava Fa'amoe.
The vacant Franklin council position went to Bill Cashmore, who replaces the retired Des Morrison.
The final vote count will be confirmed on Thursday.
Top polling council candidates:
Sir John Walker 15,466 – elected
Calum Penrose 13,591 – elected
Colleen Brown 10,247 – not elected
Alf Filipaina 17,284 – elected
Arthur Anae 12,833 – elected
Tunumafono Ava Fa'amoe 11,749 – not elected
- © Fairfax NZ News
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